LOS ANGELES-The CIM Group and the Lee Group are planning something different in the downtown L.A. office-to-housing conversion market. Instead of turning an office building into apartments or condominiums as so many others are doing, the two locally based developers have partnered to convert the 22-story, 474,346-sf 801 S. Grand office tower into a combination of office space and condominiums. Hollywood-based CIM and Marina Del Rey-based Lee say that their $40 million project will be the first to combine luxury housing with class A office space in one building in downtown L.A.

The CIM Group, which acquired the 801 S. Grand building from Shuwa Investments Corp. in 2003, will be responsible for developing new ground floor retail space and the first 10 floors of office space. The Lee Group will turn the top 11 floors into 132 luxury condominiums ranging from 1,066 sf to 2,094 sf to be called Sky at 801.

Shaul Kuba, a CIM Group principal, says that the 801 tower’s location is suited to both office and housing uses because of its central location. “Downtown needs to maintain its business base while adding residential units,” Kuba says. Jeff Lee, president of the Lee Group, adds that the office tower’s floor-to-ceiling windows will provide residents with plenty of natural light and its large floor plates will accommodate spacious living areas. The sales office will open at the building in July and housing units are expected to be complete and available for occupancy in January 2006.

The 801 Tower was built in the mid-1980s, with parking, building systems and elevators all designed for office use. With the dual use planned for the new project, CIM and Lee Group will separate the parking levels, elevator banks and entrances for the office and housing components.

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